Yemen

23rd May: Journey into the Past

Shopping break. Two old men at the entrance to Sanaa's Old Town market. Photo: Klaus Heymach
Shopping break. Two old men at the entrance to Sanaa's Old Town market. Photo: Klaus Heymach
Only the blue light of the energy-saver lamps and the battery-powered megaphone advertising Chinese-made synthetic underwear, tool sets and children’s trainers on a continuous loop are evidence of the present day. Absolutely everything else doesn’t come from this century. The men with naked torsos who hammer red-hot iron to the rhythm of a second-hand. The old man with the bony face and curved dagger about his slim hips, selling twigs from the tree once used by the prophet to clean his teeth. The woman swathed in black except for her eyes, her back bowed as she balances a sack of rice on her head. Sanaa’s Old Town market is the backdrop for a costume film, a gigantic open-air museum in which people really do live. “Where are you from?”, the raisin-seller brings me back to the present. “Almania OK”, he beams at me. His thumb indicates the yellowed title page of the government newspaper that he stuck on the wall four years ago. It still shows a smiling Schröder. No other western head of government has visited this market since the German Chancellor.

    Travel Journal Jemen

    Klaus Heymach
    From 20th until 24th of May, journalist Klaus Heymach spent a few days with the bricks in Yemen, and wrote a travel journal on the artists, the design of the bricks and the country.

    Klaus Heymach works as a journalist in Berlin. In 2005 he went to Sanaa as a freelance correspondent, rented a house in the old town and learnt Arabic. Now he has had his book published – Post Box Sanaa. Ein Jahr im Jemen (Post Box Sanaa. A year in Yemen).

    20th May 2009: Sanaa
    21st May 2009: Sanaa
    22nd May 2009: Sanaa
    23rd May 2009: Sanaa
    24th May 2009: Sanaa